Mercedes-Benz has been the synonym for high-end luxury, safety, performance, and class. The Mercedes Benz A-Class sedan continues to be a popular model year of after year, and for good reason. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that it continues to uphold it’s reputation as a cars that provides excellent performance, safety, and comfort at affordable prices.
As a responsible car buyer, you want to make sure that your investment in your new car will provide you with a long life of good performance and value for money. This Ultimate Buying Guide will help you understand the different variants of this model, and give you knowledge of the features this car comes equipped with.
To learn about additional models be sure to view our Mercedes Ultimate Buying Guide. You’re now just a few clicks away from owning this stylish coupe.
Table of Contents
The first generation W168 was introduced in 1997 with the production of model years 1997-2000 starting in January 1997 and the facelifted model 2000–2004 produced in Germany. The second-generation W169 was introduced in late 2004 and was available as both a three-door hatchback (2003–2011) and a four-door sedan.
The third generation (W176) was launched in October 2012 and replaced the W168 & W169 body styles. A fourth-generation (W177) arrived in 2018. As of the 2018 model year update, the A-Class is available in two body styles, hatchback and sedan, both of which share a center console layout with dual displays, one angled towards the driver and one centered in the middle of the dashboard.
Trim Levels and Equipment Packages
SE, Sport, AMG Line, Sports Executive, AMG Line Executive, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus.
The A-Class is offered in seven different trim levels. The most basic version with minimal features is the SE, followed by the mid-range Sport level, and premium sporty AMG Line edition.
Since the late 2019 model year, Mercedes offered Sport Executive with a variety of standard features, AMG Line Executive with even more special features, AMG Line Premium, and AMG Line Premium Plus pack a comprehensive set of high-tech gadgets and semi-autonomous driver assistance systems.
See the sport, and you’ll be spoilt for choice, with a range of specs to suit all tastes. The standard specification includes 16-inch alloy wheels, Active Lane Keeping, Keyless Go, DAB radio and Bluetooth, remote-controlled central locking, Hill Start Assist, auto stop-start, Active brake assist, leather steering wheel, Artico artificial leather seat, and gear knob with multifunction buttons.
You also get a twin touchscreen display with smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility. It also offers a touchscreen tablet computer (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) that is home to the navigation system and its real-time traffic information, along with being climate controlled.
High-end sports appeal, and exceptional functionality: are the hallmarks of SE Sport. Not only does it combine a sporty exterior with an elegant interior, but it also combines state-of-the-art technology and innovative safety with the highest standards of craftsmanship for your driving pleasure.
The Sport comes with larger 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, an upgraded BOSE sound system, automatic climate control, and chrome effect door mirrors, giving it the look of an S trim level. If you want gadgets, opt for the ‘Comfort’ spec and you’ll get Active Park Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, heated seats, wireless smartphone charging, and leather upholstery in addition to the car’s standard features.
AMG Line Edition
Unleash the track star within you. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a fun and agile car, whether it’s for running errands or darting through twisty roads. It has an unmistakable attitude with a special AMG line that includes an AMG-branded body kit and 10.3-inch displays with AMG 360-degree viewer, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a three-spoke AMG steering wheel. As you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz, all of this is backed by the best in safety technology, too.
AMG Line Executive models are now available with Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC. The package helps to find a suitable parking space and then aids you to park in it, automatically adjusting the steering angle depending on the width of the space. A newly designed key that is slimmer than standard keys, along with an aluminum trim surround for the facia and cup holder, adds further understated luxury to the interior.
A spec-topping AMG Line Premium comes with a keyless entry. Not only that but You also get augmented navigation, phone wireless charging, as well as a high-end Burmester stereo.
AMG Line Premium Plus is a powerful yet elegant delivers a unique blend of performance, passion, and design. The perfect car for zipping around city streets, it is extremely maneuverable, with a turning radius of just 3.8 m and a clever multi-beam LED headlamp system, as well as a panoramic glass sunroof that lets in plenty of light. The traffic sign assist helps prevent you from getting any speed camera tickets. Inside, the memory program for the electrically-adjustable front seats ensures your perfect driving position every time.
Engine & Drivetrain
Powering the A-Class range is a line-up of engines that meet the latest emissions regulations while offering a good blend of power, refinement, and economy. The A-Class is only available with four engines, although both diesel and petrol are offered in different states of tune.
Petrol: A180, A200, A250, A35 AMG
The first thing that strikes you about the A180, is its sleek and sporty styling. That’s complemented by its engine with consumption of 53.3mpg. The 1.3-liter turbocharged petrol engine produces 136bhp, meaning it delivers an impressively smooth ride, in and out of town.
The A200 comes with the same in-line engine as the A180, but with 163 hp. The chassis is practically the same too, so performance figures are similar too. The A200 will do 53.3mpg on the combined cycle, higher than the official figures for the range-topping V6 model. The A180 will do 51.4mpg. The A200 weighs a little bit more than the A180 but is not quite as economical. If you’ve tried out the A180 and liked it, then an A200 will be equally useful.
The Mercedes A-class is an excellent premium small car for the price. The A250 has the same 2.0-liter engine as the A220, but it makes a stronger 224hp with a consumption of 47.9mpg and is only marginally heavier. It will get to 62mph in just 6.2 seconds, making this one of the fastest family cars available.
Diesel: A180d, A200d, A220d
The Mercedes A-Class is available in three unique diesel variants. The available specifications are the A180d, the A200d, and the A220d. The difference between these models lies in the performance they offer. It’s always a good idea to know what you’re buying before you do so, that’s why we’re going to take a close look at each of them to make sure you don’t end up with a bad deal.
The new Mercedes A35 AMG combines the best from Merc’s performance catalog. The A-Class has been given the DNA computer that adjusts engine performance, steering, and suspension settings. The ‘hot hatch’ fizzes with 306hp, 0-62mph in 4.7sec, and an electronically limited 155mph with consumption of 38.7mpg.
The Mercedes A180d is the perfect car for those who want a luxury brand, but don’t want the extra cost of diesel. It’s the cheapest diesel of these three family hatchbacks, with its 1.5-liter engine getting you 70.6mpg on paper or 64.8mpg in real life.
The Mercedes A200d and A220d are making a statement – a loud one. Powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine that offers ample punch, the A200d does 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, while its brother, the A220d – as you may have guessed from the name – completes the same sprint in 7 seconds. Both cars have impressive fuel consumption figures of 70.6mpg and 67.3mpg respectively.
Interior Design and Features
Mercedes-Benz has long offered some of the most luxurious interiors in the automotive world. The new A-Class takes that reputation and runs with it, offering a design and features not typically seen in this segment. The A-Class has all the usual features you’d expect from a Mercedes: heated mirrors, active head restraints, and side airbags.
The first thing you notice when you get into the new A-Class is the infotainment system. It’s massive, taking up nearly the entire dash. This is part of the MBUX system, which stands for Mercedes-Benz User Experience. In addition to being big, it’s also beautiful, with vivid graphics that pop on a high-resolution screen.
The screen is touch-sensitive and can be used in conjunction with a rotary dial control on the center console to interact with everything from navigation to climate control. MBUX also offers voice recognition, so you can say “Hey Mercedes” followed by whatever function you want to use.
The driving position is excellent, with plenty of adjustment in both leather seats and the steering wheel. The seats are comfortable, while the dashboard and center console are angled towards the driver so, everything is easily within reach.
The Mercedes A-Class has been recognized as a top safety pick by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) for its innovative safety technology and driver support systems.
The Euro NCAP gave the A-Class a five-star rating for adult occupant protection, four stars for child occupant protection, two stars for pedestrian protection, and three stars for safety assist.
New car buyers can now add these advanced driver assistance systems to the A-Class: Collision Prevention Assist Plus – which detects vehicles ahead and warns of an impending crash at speeds above 7mph; Active Brake Assist – which automatically applies the brakes if a collision is imminent at speeds of over 7mph; and Lane Keeping Assist – which monitors lane markings and helps ensure that the vehicle stays in lane.
The Electronic Stability Program ensures that your Mercedes-Benz remains stable and on course even in extreme driving situations.
The Exterior Design
The Mercedes A-Class Exterior Design is just as impressive from the rear. The distinctive taillights and the wide, flat radiator grille in high-gloss black with chrome louver add to the sporty, elegant look.
The new front and rear aprons, with their clear lines and precise contours, work together with side skirts to create an overall harmonious impression. Sporty refinement is provided by the black beltline trim strip on the side windows and the new 16 or 17-inch light-alloy wheels. With its dynamic, forward-thrusting design, this compact saloon appears to have been sculpted by the wind itself.
Passenger Space and Comfort
The A-Class is a small car. But it’s not a small car. It’s the most spacious family car Mercedes makes. The rear seat is so large that it can hold five adults. The front seats are long enough to comfortably fit most adults, and they’re designed for driving, not flying. In other words, they’re as comfortable as a family sedan can be.
The Mercedes Benz A-Class is beautifully designed inside and out. The A-Class is not just an attention grabber, it is also a road stalwart further enhanced by its smooth handling, sophisticated technology, and a distinctive style of its own. The A-class sports a luxurious cockpit stuffed with the latest amenities such as Bluetooth connectivity, multimedia functions, and ambient lighting. Ready to take one for a test drive? I know I am.